How to Choose the Right HVAC Certification Class near Snellville Georgia
Once you have made a decision on a career as a heating and air conditioner specialist, the next step is to choose an HVAC vocational school near Snellville GA. But with so many to pick from, how do you choose the ideal one to obtain the training that you require? Many prospective students will make their decision based solely on the cost of tuition or how near the school is to their home. Although these are necessary factors to consider, they are not the only ones to evaluate. Some of the other details that you need to research are the graduation rates of the HVAC schools, their reputations, and if they are accredited by professional trade organizations. These and other benchmarks will be covered in more detail later in this article. But before we examine how to pick an HVAC vocational school, let’s look at what a heating and a/c contractor does to become a licensed qualified tradesman.
Becoming an HVAC Professional
HVAC is an acronym that is extensively used in the business that stands for “Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning”. HVAC techs specialize in the installation, repair and maintenance of central air conditioners, furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters and heating systems. As professional tradesmen, they are typically required to be licensed, however every state and regional municipality has its own prerequisites. Attaining professional certification is not compulsory, but an alternative way for Snellville GA HVAC technicians to demonstrate that they are highly proficient and experienced in their area of expertise. There are a number of respected certifications within the field that are available. Below are a few of the significant ones.
- North American Technician Excellence (NATE). NATE is a nationally recognized certification for HVAC techs. The certification is achieved by passing a proficiency exam and can be earned in one or more specialties.
- HVAC Excellence. This certification offers both a professional and a master specialist credential. 2 years of field experience in addition to passing a comprehensive examination are required for the professional level certification. Master specialists need to have 3 years of experience along with a passing result on the professional level exam. Similar to NATE, certifications are offered in several specialties.
- EPA Section 608. This certification is mandatory for technicians that work with refrigerants. There are three forms of certification obtainable, one for small appliances, and the other two for low and high pressure refrigerants.
Since licensing might be mandated in your area, and you may also desire to earn certification, it’s important that you enroll in an HVAC vocational school that will prepare you for both. And since you will probably be working with refrigerants, make sure that the school you decide on readies you for passing the EPA Section 608 examinations.
HVAC Degree and Certificate Training Programs
There are a variety of alternatives offered for HVAC instruction in a trade or technical school. You can obtain a certificate, an Associate Degree, or a Bachelor’s Degree. Earning a certificate will take the minimum period of time, usually completed in as little as six months, however some courses are longer. A certificate will qualify you for the majority of HVAC positions, especially if you are licensed and have certification appropriate to the position. The degree training programs may provide a competitive edge for securing employment and will provide more extensive training than the certificate programs. Below is a brief explanation of each credential offered near Snellville GA.
- Certificate. Usually requiring a high school diploma, certificate programs are preferred among beginning residential or commercial HVAC professionals. They furnish a solid foundation of skills for job opportunities within the industry.
- Associate Degree. The Associate Degree in HVAC program supplies a more exhaustive knowledge of heating & cooling systems than the certificate program. Usually taking two years to finish, some degrees feature an internship or work-study program.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor’s Degree in HVAC is geared more for a career in management as well as business ownership. Some programs call for an Associate Degree, while others are a traditional four year program. In addition to learning how to service and maintain heating and cooling systems, you will also study how to design them.
Selecting the appropriate credential program will be dependent on what your future career aspirations are, along with the time and financial resources that you have to commit. One option is to begin with a certificate or even an Associate Degree program, and after acquiring some experience in the trade in Snellville GA, eventually returning to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree. If this is your approach, be sure to ask the HVAC tech school you are looking at about how their returning student program works.
HVAC Online Schools
Attending an HVAC program online is one option in attaining your education and receiving a certificate or degree. Most schools will call for some attendance on campus to complete practical training. Some also provide internship or work-study programs in addition to or instead of practical lab work. But since the rest of the classes can be participated in on the web, this alternative may be a more convenient solution for many Snellville GA students that are pressed for time. And some online degree programs are cheaper than other traditional choices. Even travelling expenses from Snellville and study materials can be reduced, helping to make schooling more affordable. And many online schools are fully accredited (more on this later). So if your work or family responsibilities have left you with limited time to attend classes, perhaps an HVAC online training program will make it more convenient to accommodate school into your hectic schedule.
Questions For HVAC Certification Classes
Once you have chosen the type of certificate or degree that you desire to earn, either online or on campus, you can begin to decrease your list of schools. As you are probably aware, there are many HVAC technical schools in the Snellville GA area and throughout the United States to pick from. That’s why it is imperative to have a checklist of key qualifications when making school assessments. As previously stated in our opening paragraph, tuition and location will most likely be the initial two aspects you will consider. Following are some additional ones that you will want to explore before enrolling in your school of choice.
Accreditation. A large number of HVAC technical schools in the Snellville GA area have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may acquire Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs as a whole, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for example HVAC technology. Confirm that the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, for example the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping ensure that you acquire a quality education, it can assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools. Furthermore, some states require that the HVAC training course be accredited in order to qualify for licensing.
High Completion Rates. Ask the Heating and Air Conditioning schools you are considering what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and finish the course. A low completion rate might signify that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It may also suggest that the teachers were not qualified to train the students. It’s similarly imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of graduates, which can mean more contacts for the school to employ for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only affirm that the school has an excellent reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Snellville GA HVAC employers to assist grads secure apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Many HVAC trade programs are taught in conjunction with an internship or an apprenticeship program. Those participating technical and vocational programs will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of Heating and Cooling contractors or trade unions. Check if the schools you are reviewing have referring partnerships with local Snellville GA HVAC specialists. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by furnishing practical training, but it also provides employment opportunities and helps to form relationships in the area HVAC professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, consult with the HVAC specialist you are working under regarding what you should be looking for. Otherwise, ask a local Snellville GA HVAC contractor if they can provide some pointers. Additionally keep in mind that unless you can move, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Snellville GA home. Remember that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, in addition to moving costs there might be increased tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you receive as much personalized instruction as possible, which can be challenging in bigger classes. Ask if you can monitor some of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to several of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak to some of the instructors and find out what their level of expertise is and what certifications or degrees they have earned.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the programs you are assessing are flexible enough to meet your needs. If you can only attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Snellville GA, check that the programs you are considering provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, be sure that the school you select permits part-time enrollment. Additionally, find out what the protocol is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Considering an HVAC School near Snellville GA?
Perhaps you are considering enrolling in an HVAC training program in the Snellville Georgia area. If so, you may find the following background information about the location of your new school campus both interesting and informative.
Snellville is a city in Gwinnett County, Georgia, United States, east of Atlanta. The population was 18,242 at the 2010 census, and in 2015 the estimated population was 19,733. It is a developed suburb of Atlanta and a part of the Atlanta metropolitan area.
In 1874 Thomas Snell and James Sawyer, seventeen-year-old friends from London, secretly planned a voyage to the New World. On March 18, James Sawyer and his brother, Charles, left England. However, Snell's parents, having learned of the plan, wouldn't allow him to leave, thus delaying his departure. The Sawyer brothers arrived in New York on April 1, and after a few weeks headed toward Athens, Georgia, and then to Madison County, where they stayed and worked on a farm for $10 a month. Snell did eventually follow his friends to New York and made his way south to meet them. The three then made their way through Jefferson and Lawrenceville. Shortly after Snell's arrival, Charles left for Pennsylvania, later returning to the South and settling in Alabama, where he went into the turpentine business. James had gone also, in search of his brother, leaving Snell to work on the farm of A. A. Dyer.
Unable to find his brother, James Sawyer returned to New York and began work on a farm near the Hudson River area until his 21st birthday in 1878, when he returned to England to claim his inheritance. Shortly following, in August 1879, he returned to Americus, Georgia, and then Gwinnett County. Once in Gwinnett County, Sawyer found Snell in the small settlement then known as New London, near Stone Mountain. In the homestead that Snell now referred to as Snellville, the two built a small wood frame building and started a business together, Snell and Sawyer's Store, similar to the one in which they were employed in London. As was common in small mill towns of the time, they printed store money with the trade value and Snell's likeness on the front that regular customers could use to purchase goods. By the end of 1879, the business was prospering and catering to customers from the neighboring towns of Lawrenceville and Loganville. Travelers would buy supplies at "Snell and Sawyer's" and often spend the night in the nearby oak groves, as the trip was too great for one day's travel. It is uncertain when New London officially became Snellville, but the location of the partners' store was referred to as Snellville in their advertising, and the young town began to show a promising future.
HVAC Training Courses Online Snellville GA
Selecting the ideal HVAC school course is a critical beginning toward a gratifying career in the heating & cooling field. You originally came to this website because you wanted more information regarding HVAC Training Courses Online. However, as we have discussed in this article, you need to select an HVAC vocational school and a certificate or degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the HVAC field. Other features to look for are lots of practical training and modern facilities. You need to go to each of the schools in person that you are most interested in to tour the campus and speak with both the faculty and current students. Attempt to get a feel for the quality of the teaching and the interaction between them. Additionally, inquire about scheduling options and whether evening or weekend classes are available if needed. And remember to ask about financial aid and student loan options also. If you ask the right questions as we have laid out in our guidelines for assessing schools, you’ll be able to filter your choices so that you can make an educated decision. With the proper training, hard work and dedication, you can ultimately become a licensed HVAC contractor in Snellville GA.
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